The State Board of Higher Education held a lengthy executive session today to discuss contract extensions for the university presidents (except for Williston State, where a new president has yet to be selected, and UND which has a new president beginning next month).
All of the presidents whose contracts were under consideration saw extensions except NDSU President Dean Bresciani. As I reported last week, the board has been split on whether or not to extend Bresciani’s contract.
It seems, per this tweet from my colleague Mike McFeely, they’re still split:
N.D. Board of Higher Ed votes to table contract extension of Dean Bresciani at NDSU to Nov. meeting. Teamwork, communication issues cited.
— Mike McFeely (@MikeMcFeelyWDAY) June 29, 2016
This is not a bad outcome, I think. I’ve been pretty clear in my desire to see Bresciani go, but even just a delay in renewing his contract sends a message that his conduct and performance at the head of one of our state’s largest institutions has been something less than acceptable.
Think about it. Every single university president in the state whose contract was up for consideration got renewed. Except for Bresciani.
When Bresciani’s supporters would have us believe that there are no problems, that the criticisms of Bresciani’s leadership are just the overwrought machinations of a few isolated cranks, the fact that his contract was the only one not extended is significant.
Over the last few days there has been an intense effort by NDSU boosters to lobby the board members to extend Bresciani’s contract. That enough board members stuck to their guns to send Bresciani a message is a victory in and of itself.
Let’s hope now that, come November, they stick to their guns and refuse an extension. I say let the current contract expire and begin the process of selecting a new president.